On 9/11 Anniversary, White House Notes U.S. Actions Since Attacks
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2007 On the sixth anniversary of al Qaeda’s attacks on U.S. soil, White House officials released a “fact sheet” that takes stock of actions the United States and other nations have taken to confront the terrorist threat.
The document, posted on the White House Web site and distributed to media outlets, notes the sacrifices of the attacks’ victims and responders and pays tribute to the armed forces, the law enforcement and intelligence communities, “and the thousands of others at the local, State, and Federal levels who protect our country, secure our liberty, and work to prevent future attacks.”
In response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that “showed the ruthlessness of the enemy America faces,” the nation went on the offensive to confront terrorists before they reach U.S. soil again, the document says.
“These extremists want to overthrow rising democracies, claim a strategic country as a haven for terror, destabilize the Middle East, and strike America and other free nations,” the White House document says.
The document points out that the United States and its allies have captured or killed dozens of senior al Qaeda leaders since Sept. 11, 2001, including al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Sept. 11 attack facilitator Ramzi bin al Shibh, and al Qaeda military chief Muhammad Atif, the document notes.
It also cites the following terrorist plots the United States and its partner nations have disrupted:
-- September 2007: German authorities disrupted a terrorist cell planning attacks on military installations and facilities used by Americans in Germany. The Germans arrested three suspected members of the Islamic Jihad Union, a group that has links to al Qaeda and supports al Qaeda's global jihadist agenda.
-- September 2007: Danish authorities disrupted a cell that included an al Qaeda-trained individual and was planning terrorist attacks using explosives.
-- June 2007: Four individuals were charged with plotting to blow up major fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Three of the individuals have been arrested, and the United States is pursuing extradition of the fourth.
-- May 2007: The FBI arrested six al Qaeda-inspired individuals plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. The plotters had purchased weapons for the attack, which they had been planning since January 2006.
-- August 2006: British authorities broke up a plot to blow up passenger airplanes flying from the United Kingdom to the United States. Intelligence officials believe this plot was just two to three weeks away from execution and could have rivaled Sept. 11 in the death and destruction caused.
In confronting terrorists and working to deny them safe haven, the White House document notes, the United States has strengthened cooperation with partners in key regions, disrupted terrorist networks and financing, and provided training and equipment to foreign partners to enable them to have a more active and effective role in the anti-terrorism effort.
The document also highlights new homeland security programs and stronger government institutions and laws enacted since the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition, the document lists examples of how the United States has been working around the world to fight terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa, the Persian Gulf, Europe and Southeast Asia.
“The war on terror is more than a military conflict -- it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century,” it says. “To keep our nation safe, America must continue to support those in nations like Iraq and Afghanistan seeking to build free societies and democratic institutions that provide an alternative to the hateful ideology of extremists and brutal dictators.”